Reclusive Penza sect members dig out well in underground cave

Penza, May 8, Interfax – Members of the Pyotr Kuznetsov religious sect, who earlier came out from the cave in which they had barricaded themselves, and who were accommodated in the village of Nikolskoye in the Bekovo district of Penza region, are being provided with food by the local authorities.

“The former recluses are being supplied with vital necessities – cereal, potatoes and flour,” the head of the Bekovo district administration Vladimir Provotorov told Interfax.

Meanwhile, the sect members still staying in the cave have not signaled any date of their possible coming out. “They remain under a vow of silence. I regularly visit the cave and get written messages from Vasily Prokofyev, the leader of the remaining sect members, requesting some everyday things,” he said.

“Those who are in the cave are feeling well, he said. “They have an ample supply of food and fresh water. They have dug out an underground well,” Provotorov said.

Thirty-five members of the doomsday sect barricaded themselves in a cave in November 2007 to wait for judgment day. Seven women came out of the cave following talks on March 28. Another 14 came out on April 1 after two areas of the cave collapsed. A Belarusian citizen and her two children emerged on April 2.

A sect member, Vitaly Nedogon, said after leaving the cave that two women had died. His information has not yet been officially verified.

Eleven members remain in the cave.

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